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Celebrate New Year With Wheeling Antiques

This pastel tinted portrait vase by Warwick is a recent find for a local collector. It is pink with tinges of aqua and edged in gold.

Downtown Wheeling has been at the forefront of much news with sewer and street improvements, more housing options and an effort by many small businesses to create an ambiance that inspires residents and visitors to enjoy our Friendly City.

This is a perfect time to display Wheeling collectibles and enjoy learning about our success as a manufacturing hub and gateway to the West.

Wheeling collectibles are also a thoughtful gift for newbies arriving in town for jobs or visitors.

What is Wheeling’s best-known china company from its manufacturing heyday? Warwick, of course.

Warwick was located just adjacent to the current Orrick site at 22nd and Water streets, and employed thousands over its existence, 1887-1951. Formed by local businessmen J.R. McCortney, O.C. Dewey, C.J. Rawlings, Albert F. Stifel and A.J. Cecil, the company came into being to fill the needs of a growing middle class.

Warwick produced china of distinction and many collectors have built an interesting collection around the treasures. Some of its most desirable pieces are the beautiful decorative vases, its famous Ladies of the Night series and IOGA ware.

Our local Mansion Museum has many examples on display in the Wymer General Store collection, located on the first floor of the museum.

The name “Warwick” was inspired by the Warwick Castle in England. The trademark of Warwick China’s initial pieces was a knight’s helmet and crossed swords — reflected the appealing idea of castles, knights and elegance.

The company might have fired its last piece in 1951 — but over the years Warwick has become known for its excellent semi-porcelain dinner, tea and toilet sets; vitrified clay hotel ware and dinnerware.

Shown in today’s column are several unusual pieces of Warwick that any collector would love to own. Using decals or hand painting skills of their many artists, Warwick made vases, teapots, coffeepots, pitchers, bowls and jardinieres that are both artistic and attractive.

Popular images found on Warwick include two different sea captains, monks, ladies, dogs, herons, Indians, flowers and even President Lincoln.

Made by Warwick China Company, this elegant cream colored teapot has mulberry colored transfer decoration.

Flow blue china and delft patterns are also part of the Warwick collectible inventory and hotel and dinnerware patterns include dozens of numbers.

Other companies made similar styled pieces, using the same decals, so you have to study a bit to learn about Warwick to identify it accurately. But it is an enjoyable hobby that offers interesting china to display in your home.

Values for most antique glass and ceramics may have fallen due to the general trend in antiques but that only means it’s a great time to buy.

For a complete look at Warwick China, pick up the Schiffer collector volume by former Bridgeport, Ohio resident (now deceased) John Rader, Sr. called simply, “Warwick China,” (2000). This hard backed book includes hundreds of color photos that illustrate the exciting ceramics. It can be found online at schifferbooks.com and Amazon.

Happy New Year! And what better way to celebrate new horizons than to value our past as we proudly build our future?

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